Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
- Reading age: 4 to 7
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center and its tangerine dress.
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. He dreams about having space adventures, paints beautiful pictures and sings the loudest during circle time. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom’s dress-up center — he loves wearing the tangerine dress.
But the children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses.
One day when Morris feels all alone, and sick from the taunts of his classmates, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris reads about elephants, and puts together a puzzle, and dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo.
Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw, and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure.
With warm, dreamy illustrations Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris’s vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
About the authors
Christine Baldacchino is a graphic artist and web designer with a background in early childhood education. Her picture book Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress was a Stonewall Honor recipient and the winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Best Picture Book. She lives with her husband in Toronto.
Isabelle Malenfant nació en Val d'Or, Quebec, y ahora vive en Montreal. De niña, a ella le gustaba dibujar y tocar instrumentos musicales. Ella tocaba flauta, además de piano, bajo, guitarra y violín. Sus asignaturas favoritas en la escuela fueron arte y biología. Estudió arte en la universidad y se licenció en Diseño Gráfico en la Universidad de Quebec, en Montreal.
Isabelle siempre ha disfrutado creando personajes y escribiendo cuentos. Antes de comenzar a ilustrar Pablo encuentra un tesoro, buscó fotos de los vertederos y de las personas que trabajan allí. Su mayor desafío fue representar las piezas de basura sin que se viera repetitivo. Después de experimentar un poco, decidió usar lápices, para crear manchas que lograran el efecto de un entorno sucio.
Lo que más disfruta del proceso creativo es idear personajes y ponerlos en escena. ¡Lo que más le gusta es ensuciarse las manos!
Isabelle vive con su pareja, sus dos hijas, un gato y un hámster enano. Cuando no está escribiendo o ilustrando, le gusta esculpir, coser, leer, escuchar música e ir al cine cuando puede.
Su consejo para los aspirantes a autores e ilustradores es divertirse y no preocuparse por las reglas.
- Commended, Stonewall Honor Books in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- Short-listed, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
- Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
- Winner, CBC Bookie Award for Best Picture Book
- Commended, American Library Association Rainbow List
- Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
- Short-listed, Blue Spruce Award
- Commended, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
- Commended, Quill & Quire Books of the Year for Young People
- Commended, Today's Parent Top Picture Books of the Year
- Commended, Kirkus Best Picture Books Celebrating Diversity
- Commended, Huffington Post Best Picture Books of the Year: Most Touching/Heartwarming
- Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens
First-time author Christine Baldacchino debunks all the shoulds and shouldn’ts of children’s behavior merely based on the number of x-chromosomes. . . . Veteran illustrator Isabelle Malenfant imbues young Morris with such expressiveness, from his curious joy to hurt silence to cruel rejection to hopeful triumph.
Unlike some more messagey titles on the subject, this one provides Morris with a personality beyond his dress-loving nature, making him enjoyable literary company.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Christine Baldacchino's story and Isabelle Malenfant's delightful illustrations show how being different is sometimes the bravest thing you can be.
[R]ather than presenting an overt message about gender identity, the book provides a subtle and refreshing glimpse at a boy who simply likes to dress up.
School Library Journal
Baldacchino doesn’t sugar-coat the teasing and isolation Morris endures. . . . Malenfant showcases Morris’s full emotional spectrum.
Morris is a complex character whose creativity and personality shine. . . . Sensitive and reassuring.
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
[A] wonderfully moving and enriching picture book. Morris is a relateable character whom many readers will find both sympathetic and familiar.
Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW
Baldacchino’s gentle story sensitively depicts gender nonconforming children, offering them reassurance and, one hopes, acceptance by introducing other children to the concept.
Other titles by Christine Baldacchino
Other titles by Isabelle Malenfant
Read With Pride: K–12 Books
Books for LIS 405 @ GPRC
Fitting In, Standing Out and Self-Acceptance
2015 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards
Finalists for the 2015 Kids' Book Centre Awards
Diversity in Children's Lit
2015 OLA Blue Spruce Nominees
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